Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster: (N) (1782-1852) U. S. statesman and orator

I’m often hesitant to talk about historical figures because I realize that many Americans are unaware of anything that happened in the cosmos before the day of their birth.

Now look at me—two days in a row: Daniel Boone and now, Daniel Webster.

But there’s something very significant to take out of the archives on Mr. Daniel Webster.

He was considered such a great orator and debater that they wrote a short story called “The Devil and Daniel Webster.”

I shall not take your precious time by going too deeply into the premise of the tale. Let’s just say it exalted one idea:

 Daniel Webster was so smart that he could out-think the devil.

I will tell you that if there were an actual being called Satan, then perhaps we could prepare to square off against him and win the day.

But since the devil has leased property in our own brain, we are usually not very successful at avoiding temptation and foolishness—because the actual dangling sin has been offered to us from us.

Therefore I would have to tell you, the possibility of the great orator, Daniel Webster, defeating the devilish orator, Daniel Webster, is slim to none.

 

Couple

Couple: (n) two persons considered as joined together

How do you become a couple?

Can you be a couple without coupling?

Because once people think you are coupling, they will assume you’ve coupled. Is it merely a sexual term?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Can’t be.

The manager walks in and says, “I need a couple of people to help me unload this truck.” Normally, the two that end up doing the job don’t necessarily have goo-goo eyes for each other.

It’s one of those ambiguous words Americans use that sometimes means nothing, and other times, connotes with a wink that something might be going on.

“I think they might be a couple,” she said with a smirk.

Yet in a very few months, we will end up with a couple of people running for President—and neither one of them would ever be caught smooching the other.

So couples can be sexy, couples can be utilitarian, and couples can be bitter enemies.

For instance, a couple of dictators bombed each other until their countries turned into dust.

Matter of fact, some of you might have thought, as you read this essay, that I should have sat down and waited for a couple of ideas.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Cellophane

Cellophane: (n) a thin transparent wrapping material made from viscose.

I love cellophane. Not intimately, but certainly personally.

You can see through it. It’s great for wrapping sandwiches. They call that “Saran-Wrap.”

I have two complaints. (It is very American of me to lead with the fact that I love something and then quickly explain why it also annoys the hell out of me.)

So doing my duty for God and country, I will tell you that cellophane sometimes gets too attached. You try to remove it from a package or unwrap something and it clings to your hand.

The first instinct is to reach over and remove it with your other hand–but then it clings to that hand. So you end up shaking your paw in the air to dislodge yourself from the sticky situation, resembling an exercise one might do to alleviate stress.

Clingy.

“Don’t cling to me, baby. I’m no good for you.”

It won’t listen.

Secondly, there are times it refuses to cling. I have lined up a whole series of sandwiches, preparing to wrap them up, only to discover when I finished, and it was time to put the last fold down, it would not stick to itself–popping up in the air to mock my efforts. So then that side of the sandwich has to be carefully placed on the bottom of the cooler, to make it look like the sandwiches are well-wrapped (when you know in your heart they aren’t.)

And then when you arrive at the family picnic, someone always says, “Who wrapped this sandwich?”

They are fully aware of which cooler they took the sandwich from–it’s just a way of humiliating you.

So even though I do love cellophane, I certainly have my beefs against it.

Maybe someday we will work out our differences. And then I will be happy.

And it will be a Glad Wrap.

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

 

Bread

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bread: (n) food made of flour, water, and yeast, mixed together and baked.

“Man shall not live by bread alone.”

No kidding.Dictionary B

The carbs will kill ya’.

Bread is part of the great American hypocrisy.

  • It is high in calories.
  • It is loaded with overwrought carbohydrates
  • And it is extremely tasty–especially when it’s soft and covered with buttery jellied substances, which are also silent killers.

So even though man cannot live by bread alone, it’s ridiculous to think that man can live without bread.

Would America survive without a sandwich?

Who would be prepared to have their Big Mac wrapped in organic lettuce leaves?

So we try to cut calories by slicing the bread thinner–and to some degree this works, because the concept of lean bread is better than the meanness of no bread.

But sooner or later we must come up with an answer that is functional to human beings, just as we are. Maybe we would like everyone to be slender and heathy, having just finished a great cardio, devouring a salad with low-fat dressing. But isn’t it time to realize that this will just never happen?

So instead, let’s kick out all those trainers and dietitians–and hire a bunch of researchers to come up with a bread … that won’t leave us dead.

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


 Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

 

Boob

Boob: (n) a foolish or stupid person.

If there was ever any doubt that male chauvinism is ensconced in the culture of the American public, one need go no further than to consider the word “boob.”Dictionary B

It has two meanings, which should not necessarily coincide or even ever bump up against each other in the night.

After all, a boob is someone who is completely disconnected with reality, and is intoxicated on the fumes of idealism.

It is also a common, though crude, reference to the female breast.

It is not much of a drive on the highway of reason to realize that we believe that most pernicious air-headedness is contained in the female of our species.

This is one of those subtle clues which lets us know that even though we muster the faith and energy to tolerate one another for sexual purposes, procreation or even mutual responsibility for a mortgage, privately the war between men and women is conducted with jabs, often disguised as innocence.

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

 

Bonsai

Bonsai: (n) an ornamental tree or shrub grown in a pot

Once upon a time, in a kingdom where bank accounts were not depleted, I had some extra money burning a hole deep in my right pocket of selfishness.Dictionary B

It was scary.

I went over the bills three or four times just to make sure I hadn’t missed something, but at the end of my calculation, I discovered that I was temporarily endowed with abundance.

I wanted to do something lavishly weird–and not just lavish, like buying several cans of whipped cream, but weird. Something that would give others pause, but then they would feel foolish for questioning the wealthy fellow and his eccentric choices.

I hunted, I searched and I found a gentleman who sold bonsai trees.

I knew nothing about them. But I felt like owning one was a symbol of prosperity. So I bought two. Double the potency.

The fellow tried to explain to me the care of these plants and I listened with the attention span of a three-year-old who has to pee but also wants to ride the roller coaster.

When I got home with my bonsai trees, I realized that I had completely forgotten everything he said, and had left the literature behind, trusting my memory.

Then came that great, ridiculous American assertion: how hard can it be?

  • So I watered them
  • I trimmed their little branches (having remembered this being part of the process)
  • And every day when I returned, they looked a little worse

It was like watching your Grandma die of old age. I was concerned but totally helpless.

Then inexplicably, they developed tiny insects which started eating away at the bark.

It took about five weeks, while I heroically tried to give CPR to these dying new friends, but eventually they turned brown–and for some reason, started to stink.

I threw them both into a big garbage bag, took them out to the curb and said good-bye.

I can’t swear to it, but I thought I heard one of them, from within the bag, gasp, “Murderer.”

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

 

Bonanza

Bonanza: (n) a sudden increase in wealth or good fortune

My parents would not allow me to watch the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, but I was allowed to view episodes of Bonanza.Dictionary B

Now, many of you reading this article may not know what Bonanza was. It was a show about a father and three adult sons, the Cartwrights, who owned a huge ranch, the Ponderosa, in Nevada and their struggles in trying to maintain their opulence.

I loved the show when I was a kid, but when I started watching it as an adult, it was a little bit terrifying. Why? Because a lot of people got killed so all of the family who lived on the Ponderosa could be proven right.

It was just the mindset of the time.

In our country, once we had established that something was “an American thing,” it had to be justified. So we condoned:

  • A Cold War
  • Racial inequality
  • Killing Vietnamese
  • And even brutalizing in the press scrawny rock-and-roll singers from Britain

As I watched the reruns of Bonanza, I realized that I was required to root for Dad and the boys in every episode, no matter how faulted their motives might be.

Bonanza?

Yes, I guess so–if your name was Pa, Little Joe, Adam or Hoss.

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

 

Benchmark

Benchmark: (n) a standard against which things may be compared or assessed

Dictionary B

At the risk of barking out some dogmatic standards, I shall attempt to offer some concerns.

As I view the climate of politics, religion and entertainment, which are meant to be foundations in our American society, I realize that the benchmark for each one of these offerings has shifted over the years, unconsciously accepted by the masses.

Religion should have only one function: to teach us to love each other.

Anything else ranges from superfluous to dangerous. Nowadays we ask religion to afford us a heritage, a style, a uniqueness, or even a guarantee of eternal life.

The benchmark we have set for religion is careless.

On the other hand, the only benchmark for politics is honesty.

Without it, we fail to recognize what the true problems are, and therefore we end up working on the insignificant and overlooking the necessary.

Nowadays, politics is the symbol of deception, dissension, gridlock and even a certain amount of ridicule.

We’ve lost our benchmark on politics.

And finally, entertainment should have the benchmark of entertaining us, but also enlightening us.

Without these stipulations, entertainment starts to be sensationalistic, desiring a plumper and plumper bottom line.

When we lose our benchmarks, we start to stray, which makes us appear lost ... even as we insist we are following the cultural GPS.

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

 

Bazaar

Bazaar: (n) a market in a Middle Eastern country.Dictionary B

I often comfort myself with the knowledge that if I didn’t do dumb things, I wouldn’t have great stories to tell.

So a certain amount of imperfection, idiocy and clumsiness is necessary to fall under the classification of “a good writer.” (At least, that’s my take and I’m stickin’ with it.)

Many years ago, I traveled to Haiti, and being a novice at such a journey, I didn’t take enough money. After I paid all the taxes, tariffs and incidentals, I ended up with 72 cents in loose change to last me for two weeks.

My lodging was covered and so were my meals, but I didn’t have any personal money.

One of my guides on suggested that we go to the local street market, or bazaar, to see what the Haitians had put together through their creativity.

I don’t know why, but it didn’t even occur to me that these artisans might just want to sell their wares to hapless Americans. I wasn’t in the bazaar for more than thirty seconds before I was completely surrounded by determined individuals trying to sell me what they had built, cooked or grown.

The stuff was beautiful.

They were great salespeople.

But you see–I only had 72 cents.

To the average Haitian, any white man from America is independently wealthy and probably arrived on their shores in a yacht.

So using a word of Creole here and there, I tried to explain that I had no money. This only encouraged them to sell harder, assuming that they were just one catch-phrase away from garnering my business.

They also kept dropping their prices.

Finally, after about five or six arduous minutes of grueling exchange, I pulled out fifty cents and bought a lovely, carved statue. The person who did the work probably took at least four hours to make it, and I felt like a real jerk.

But they were delighted to get the fifty cents, and I intelligently escaped quickly out the back exit from my experience … at the bizarre bazaar,

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

*******************
Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

"Buy